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When my husband and I moved back to Utah from California several years ago, we knew we’d be making several sacrifices in terms of lifestyle, the biggest one being the fact that winters here seem to start at the beginning of October. And then end… never. Two days ago, this is what our deck looked like. Remember: It’s the middle of April.


A few years ago we bought a cheap set of outdoor furniture that deteriorated rather quickly when we forgot to protect it from conditions like the one in the photo above. The structure of the chairs survived, barely, but the cushions ended up resembling a pile of discarded gum wrappers. To save money we kept the chairs and commissioned a new set of cushions. Except, I fell in love with a really expensive fabric. Let’s just say that we cut WAY back on other expenses that month. Like food for our children.


I cannot wait to break out the deck furniture this year when the weather finally starts cooperating. In August, perhaps. Normally, we position two chairs with these cushions on opposite sides of a small table, and that’s the extent of it. It’s a cozy place to sip a cocktail on warm summer evenings, but I’d like to expand the decor a bit this year and turn it into an actual outdoor room. One where I can escape into silence after a day of wrangling two children and reading comments on the Internet about how I have no taste.


One of the reasons I love the fabric on the cushions so much is that it shimmers in two metallic colors: silver and gold. I want to pick up on the silver with the accessories since the gold is so dominant, starting with a silver garden stool that I’d use as the table between the chairs. Throw in some metal hurricane lamps and stainless steel planters around the perimeter of a giant outdoor rug. And then I’d finish it off with some accent pillows, tall grasses, white flowers, and of course a carafe of sweet tea.

Hopefully the weather will permit us to enjoy this room for more than a couple of weeks, although I won’t be surprised if we plan an outdoor party over Labor Day weekend and have to cancel due to a blizzard.

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Design Inspiration

21 Responses

  1. LoveFeast Table says:

    I love your fabric choice….glam is the new look for weathered furniture!! We've had springs like that here in MN!

  2. Jae says:

    Beautiful! Love your ideas!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Great ideas! Sounds like a perfect place to 'enjoy the evening'! hahaha

  4. I want those hurricane lamps. I can't wait to get AWAY from California weather. Trick Or Treating and opening Christmas presents in shorts and flip flops seems so wrong. I'm looking forward to more seasons, although not snow in April, sorry. :P

  5. Kathryn says:

    great fabric but is it outdoor-proof? I ask because I have had more than my share of pillows ruined when someone (me!) forgets to bring them in at night and they get mouldy from dew or evening rain

    where are the hurricane lamps from?

  6. @dooce says:

    Hurricane lamps are from West Elm. The fabric is actually made specifically for the outdoors, so I can leave it out all summer long.

    • Annie says:

      Thanks for the West Elm tip. I am so copying your hurricane lamps. Although I will have to incorporate them inside as they aren't quite the right look for my fire escape. HA! Thanks for the design ideas. Love them!

  7. Id be happy to house swap with you!
    75 degrees,sunny,wild flowers just blooming here in Joshua Tree
    When middle pause arrived, my inner thermometer left; thus, I long for cool temperatures and love snow.

  8. Pruett says:

    Where or where can I find those planters!?!

  9. Stevie says:

    I lived in Hawaii as a kid where everyone had a lanai – a screened in porch/room. I loved it. It was always the most relaxing place to go, any time of day.

    I absolutely LOVE those stainless planters. And all of it, really. Can't wait to see pictures of the end result!

  10. Jill says:

    I feel your pain. It snows on my birthday (…May) every second year or so in Nova Scotia. The items you've picked are lovely. I hope you get to use them in equally lovely weather – soon! We are working on compiling some deck furniture that won't blow away in our ridiculous winds, and figuring out what materials to use for some outdoor curtains for a little privacy. Your chair fabric is gorgeous. Please post pictures once the snow melts and you have your outdoor room assembled.

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